Durant High School Journalism

The Storm

Can you see it?

The young picture-perfect family, from down the street. The hardworking father, the show-stopping mother, and the beautiful little girl.

She’s adorned in ruffles and lace, smiling for the camera. The film capturing the moment in time, one that would become so precious to the girl. When she is older and reality has set in, that her picture-perfect family was never quite that. 

Her mother is synonymous with a wave, constantly being pulled back out into the world like the tide. She struggles with the actuality of being a mother, the long nights, emotional toll, and financial stress of a child. She is in constant motion, unable to settle, even for her daughter.

The unrelenting call for more distractions keeps the mother from the girl. Days, weeks, even months go by with no contact from her mother. But that is to be expected, reception is scarce in the deep. The girl understands, she knows her mother and the struggles she faces. The little girl leans on her father. 

Her father, the supposed definition of perfection, loves the little girl. He is constant in her life, never being pulled away. She knows this with absolution. As the little girl’s body grows, her mind, and perception do as well. Her father has a difficult time comprehending this change. 

He cannot fight his own upbringing to nurture the little girls’ newfound beliefs. He is like lightning, lashing out sporadically, irrationally, and always when water was near.

The girl loved them, her father the lightning, and mother the wave. The two had many children of the sea and sky. All would come to the girl for help and advice when the mother and father were missing. As she was the child with the most experience handling the dangerous combination. 

She had strong roots, like an oak, planted throughout the home. She loved the children as her own and wanted nothing more than for them to lead happy and healthy lives. She became a backbone for her home, creating the stability and comfort the children craved. Her mother was at war with the tide, and father at war with the storm, the girl loathed this about her family. The constant motion and inability to find a calm, that is all she wanted, calmness. 

The girl grew and grew until the ocean was too small for her. Her roots were deep, much deeper than expected. The idea of removing herself for the betterment of her own mental capacity was difficult. The memories of the photo are constant. 

Is leaving a betrayal?

Am I selfish for wanting this?

The girl knew the storm and tide would never cease; she knew nothing could calm this storm. So, she made a decision, she ripped the roots up. The little girl knew, only she could be the calm.  

About the Writer
Photo of Jennifer Dages
Jennifer Dages, Editor-in-Chief of Writing

Jennifer Dages is a senior at Durant High School and is the Editor-in-Chief of Writing for PawPrint newspaper. In her free time, she practices Brazilian...

Red Tide Explained

Tampa Bay, Fla.–Every year red tide arises along the west coast of Florida and sometimes on the Atlantic side of the Florida coast at the end of summer and beginning of fall. Red tide kills and destroys marine wildlife and even effects businesses and tourism near the beaches impacted by red tide. However, this year specifically, red tide’s damages are particularly devastating.

Red tide, or harmful algae blooms, occur when toxins are released by algae blooms causing a discoloration in the water. The toxins from the algae blooms kill fish, and harm marine mammals and birds. Red tide can last between a few weeks or longer than a year.

This year, red tide crept up on to the Florida coast around Aug. 5 and 6 and is mainly affecting Florida’s gulf coast.

Many animals are impacted by red tides every year, including: fish, manatees, dolphins, turtles, birds, and several others. Red tide has killed 174 manatees and over 300 sea turtles this year because of how toxic the bloom is.

According to the New York Times, the medical and research director for the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Dr. Heather Barron, has seen a higher number of animals being affected by red tide this year.

“The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife has seen a 25 percent increase in patients compared with this time last year,” said Dr. Barron.

Humans can be affected by red tide as well. The air around red tide areas can cause sneezing, coughing and tearing. However, those who have emphysema or asthma may have a harder time breathing and need to be especially careful.

Due to red tide, beaches are seeing less tourists and businesses are getting less customers. On a normal day you can see a beach filled with people at 12p.m.; however, red tide has scared away tourists and businesses are feeling that affect.

The Florida Wildlife Commission is trying to help save animals found alive on the shore. They house the animals in rehab facilities until the toxin is out of their systems.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency due to red tide. Scott has promised $1.5 million in emergency funding to help take care of the crisis.

About the Writer
Photo of Celeste Mott
Celeste Mott, Editor-in-Chief of Communications & Operations

Celeste Mott was a former staffer and former Editor-in-Chief of Communications and Operations for the PawPrint newspaper. Celeste graduated from Durant...

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